Who would have thought that a usually boring business acquisition would turn into a political soap opera?
Three months ago, the Twitter universe – including company executives and employees – was outraged by speculation that entities controlled by tech entrepreneur Elon Musk were about to buy the company.
Musk has since reconsidered, recently dropping his $44 billion purchase deal. But the same goes for society.
On Tuesday, Twitter officials filed a lawsuit in Delaware Chancery Court to force Musk to buy the company they initially didn’t want to sell.
What’s going on?
It’s hard to say.
Musk said he dropped his offer because Twitter refused to comply with requests for information. Apparently, he now sees Twitter as another bad investment. The company counters that Musk’s requests for information were met and that his claims reflect bad faith.
Musk might still want Twitter but at a lower price. He initially offered $54 per share for Twitter, but his market price stands at around $36 per share.
Maybe Musk, a brilliant but eccentric entrepreneur, just likes to pull everyone’s chain. That’s unlikely, given the potential $1 billion severance fee he could face if the deal doesn’t go through.
Whatever happens will have to be settled by expensive lawyers behind the scenes. Everyone will know once the inevitable settlement negotiations are concluded.
One thing, however, is certain. Those hoping that a Musk-operated Twitter will abandon its promised practice of censoring opinions that company employees don’t share have good reason to be disappointed.
Twitter is a paradise for braggarts and self-centered morons, but not exclusively. At best, it’s a great channel for spreading news, commentary, and information from experts around the world.
But it can never be what it should be unless it becomes an open forum that welcomes disparate views on current issues.
In this regard, Musk’s decision is unfortunate. At the same time, it’s a business, not a personal one.
Twitter has lost over $2 billion since its IPO in 2013. The digital advertising market is not considered healthy. Then there are rising interest rates and an impending recession.
Is this a healthy environment in which to make a multi-billion dollar speculative investment? It depends on how many billions are in play.
For now, however, all that’s on the table is ongoing litigation, a circumstance giving supporters of Twitter’s status quo some breathing room for now.